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The Antelope

ADP hosted Citizenship Challenge

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Game featured questions from U.S. citizenship test

Haley Pierce

A pub-style trivia night held on Sept. 18 was UNK’s Constitution Day event.

Teams of six had the opportunity to compete for prizes at 7 p.m. in NSU Ponderosa E. Snacks were provided, and door prizes were given away.

Questions for the trivia night were taken from the U.S. citizenship test. Dr. Diane Duffin, the coordinator for the event, said this would be done to standardize the questions, so no group of students was at an advantage. It also gave students a starting point for studying if they were looking to take the test.

Trivia night was put on by the American Democracy Project. According to their website, ADP’s goal is to “produce college and university graduates who are equipped with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and experiences they need to be informed, engaged members of their communities.” It is an initiative of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

“We prioritize the voices of students,” Duffin said, “and that’s a democratic purpose.”

At UNK, ADP functions in the form of a coordinator, Duffin, and an advisory board comprised of faculty, staff and students. ADP takes on the responsibility of celebrating Constitution Day at UNK – an expectation of every educational institution receiving federal funding. Constitution Day was Sept. 17, and in years past, has been celebrated by hosting a discussion forum or bringing in a speaker.

This year’s event – the pub-style trivia – was an idea brought about by four UNK students: Grace Tolstedt, Erin Green, Joel Kreifels and Adrian Almeida who come from various organizations across campus and formed an ad hoc committee for ADP.

“They are really the students who have seen it through from start to finish,” Duffin said.

Together, the students decided to use questions from the U.S. citizenship test.

“That’s kind of pointed,” Duffin said, “Some of us are fortunate enough to be citizens by chance, whereas others of us have to earn it.”

Indeed, a criticism of the citizenship test, or perhaps birthright U.S. citizens, is that many would not be able to pass it. In correlation, a 2018 study by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation found that only 36 percent of Americans could pass a multiple-choice exam with questions from the citizenship test, formally known as the Naturalization Test.

Still, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office reports a 90 percent success rate on the Naturalization Test through March 2019. They offer practice tests and study materials for the exam, which Duffin points out would be a place to brush up on material before ADP’s Citizenship Challenge.

In addition to pub-trivia, ADP will be hosting films at The World Theatre throughout the semester.

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